Created: May 26, 2017
Solveig M. Hart, PT, MSPT, Board-Certified Pediatric Clinical Specialist
Spina bifida is a birth defect that develops when an infant's spinal cord does not completely close during the early stages of the mother's pregnancy, causing both physical and intellectual disabilities. Myelomeningocele, which is the focus of this clinical summary, is the most common form. As more individuals with spina bifida are living longer lives, physical therapists can help children and adults with spina bifida gain and maintain mobility and function at their best throughout all stages of life. For more information about spina bifida for patients and families, visit the American Physical Therapy Association's MoveForward site.